Infographic: What Event Marketers Need to Succeed in 2023

The events business came roaring back in 2022, led by developments in hybrid and virtual programs, especially smaller, repeatable events. And the outlook for 2023 remains bright, according to a survey of marketing professionals across the U.S., EU and U.K. by event marketing technology firm Splash. In-person events in particular will continue to drive growth,…

What to Expect From Cannes Lions as the Festival Returns

As thousands of marketing professionals prepare to return to the French Riviera for the first in-person Cannes Lions since 2019, the host city’s deputy mayor knows visitors’ emotions will include a mix of excitement, apprehension and curiosity. “You will ask, ‘What is happening here in Cannes?’ Many things will have changed.” Thomas Depariente, the deputy…

Inside The One Club’s Long-Awaited Return to In-Person Events

After two years of virtual events, Creative Week returned as both an in-person and online celebration. “It feels great because we’re really emphasizing the coming back together part,” Yash Egami, chief operating officer at The One Club, told Adweek. “‘Come Together’ is our theme, and there are a lot of people who haven’t been able…

Infographic: In-Person Events Are Back—but Not for Everyone

Among the many changes to where and how we’ve worked since March 2020 has been the shift to virtual events. Two years on, they have become a fixture of the hybrid workplace–but when it comes to sales, networking and education, Zoom is falling out of favor. This shift, enabled by Covid-19 vaccine availability, is reflected…

Companies Must Prepare for More Contingency Planning in 2022

Editor’s note: This piece is part of our Columnist Network series, which explores the tactical thoughts and actions from Adweek’s community of high-level experts. In late November, I made the decision to buy a ticket to CES and booked a flight to Las Vegas. Over the last five years, CES has become an integral event…

Check Out Cannes Lions Innovation Day And Win A Trip to Space!


Are you into innovation? You should be. If you are, you might enjoy Innovation Day are Cannes Lions this year.

Innovation Day, taking place Saturday, June 21, will focus on innovation and will offer a series of sessions given by speakers from a variety of backgrounds. Contagious will kick off the day with an exploration into true innovation, followed by Intel’s Kevin Sellers and Genevieve Bell who will explore the links between maker culture and the latest development projects from the technology giant.

Composer Philip Sheppard will take to the stage and use state of the art technology to spontaneously compose music alongside TED speaker and human cyborg (seriously) Neil Harbisson who will showcase the unique antenna which enables him to hear in color.

Further seminars will come from Adweek’s Jim Cooper who engages with Lori Senecal of kbs+ and Winston Binch, Co-Founder of Boulder Digital Works at the University of Colorado; MDC Partners CEO Miles Nadal who interviews Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg, examining the way in which creativity is being leveraged in the C-suite of today’s most innovative companies; Mike Bennett, Darren Savage and Michael Lee of creative agency VCCP who will discuss emotional measurement technologies; and Chris Clarke and Lorenzo Wood of DigitasLBi who will look at innovation culture and some of the projects that never quite made it, in their seminar titled ‘Tales from the Accident Factory’.

During Innovation Day, delegates will hear about a chance to win a trip to space. The video advertising platform Virool, will be offering a seat on a Virgin Galactic rocket for a space flight in 2015. Details of the competition and how to enter to win will be revealed on stage by Virool.

Speaking about Innovation Day, Philip Thomas, CEO of Cannes Lions. “Cannes Lions brings together the global creative communications industry, once a year, to the South of France. What this means is that it is a hotbed of innovation, new thinking and pioneering technology. The industry needs to continually drive forward to stay at the top of their game and by providing innovation and technology focused content, delegates can leave the Festival better equipped and brimming with inventive ideas.”

In addition, the revamped TechTalks will feature interactive demonstrations, research and new platforms. Taking place across five days, each day will be themed with its own topic: Mobile Tech; Publishing Tech; Data Tech; Video Tech; and Interactive Tech. Taking to the stage will be industry leaders from BrightRoll, Unruly, Civolution, and AppSavvy, as well as Maryse Liburdi, Founder of Pokeware and Scott Knoll, CEO of Integral Ad Science.

Speaking about his TechTalk, Scott Button, Co-Founder and CEO at Unruly says, “Cannes is advertising’s moment in the sun, a chance to celebrate the creativity that exists in our industry and the science behind successful ads. I’m really looking forward to lifting the lid on why some of the best Cannes ads of all time got watched, tracked and shared across the Open Web. In a memes meets maths session, we’ll be using our unique data set of 430 billion video views and proprietary technology to unveil how advertisers can have repeatable social video success 365 days of the year.”

The theme of innovation continues throughout the Festival, particularly through the Innovation Lions which are now in their second year. This awards category, sponsored by Intel, honors the technology and innovation which lead to the creativity. Unlike other categories at Cannes Lions, delegates are invited to watch the live judging and shortlisted presentations which take place on Tuesday 17 and Wednesday 18 June during the Festival. The Innovation Lions Awards take place on Saturday, June 21.

Cannes Lions takes place from 15-21 June in Cannes, France.

Naked Ad Execs to Reveal Secrets During Cannes Lions Panel


Yikes! This is rather scary. RPA is launching a campaign today for Cannes which aims to uncover the naked truth from brands and agency executives about the agency-client relationship and its impact on great creative and the bottom line.

This teaser and website will give you a sense of the “uncomfortable truths” RPA is asking top agency and brand executives to bare under cover of anonymity, in a survey conducted in partnership with USA TODAY.

During RPA’s Forum at Cannes on Wednesday, June 18 at 13:00, Tim Leake, RPA’s head of growth and innovation, and Gannett CMO Maryam Banikarim, will give the industry a wake-up call by revealing the survey results and kick-starting an honest conversation on how the industry can produce more creative advertising that impacts the bottom line through better, longer-lasting relationships. Dana Anderson, SVP of Mondelez, will moderate a Q&A, and we’ll also explore the role media companies can play in the equation.

Now the panel doesn’t sound all that different from any other run-of-the-mill Cannes panel (ok, maybe the anonymity part) but you’ve got to hand it to RPA for coming up with this in-you-face (whether you like it or not) approach to promoting the panel.

These 12 Women Will Go to Cannes In An Effort to Change the Imbalance of Women Working in Creative


The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity is launching a new initiative that invites 12 women to Cannes Lions for a special program and filmmaking project.

See It Be It is a program that aims to further women’s careers in the creative industry, encouraging them to stay in the industry. Across three days, 12 women will be part of an inspirational and educational program which will take place during Cannes Lions. The agenda will include guided access to the jury rooms, meet and greets with VIP speakers, dedicated sessions by industry leaders and by the Berlin School of Creative Leadership, and a mentorship event supported by SheSays.

Post-Cannes, participants are provided with a toolkit that allows them to pass on their learnings to other women in their networks. The Festival will also work with the group to produce a short documentary about how a more gender-balanced creative industry ensures better work. The film will be produced by Weber Shandwick and will be released in the summer. “We’re proud to be part of what is an important moment for our industry and a powerful experience for this impressive group of women. Our hope is that we can begin to help tackle a critically important issue in a personal and inspiring way,” says Gail Heimann, President of Weber Shandwick.

With numerous sources stating upwards of 80% of purchasing decisions are made by women, marketers would be wise to demand more female creative talent to work on their brands. Not that a man can’t create an ad targeted to women but still. Analysis carried out by Cannes Lions has found that 15% of delegates under the age of 28 are female and in creative jobs, compared to just 4% of delegates over the age of 28. This closely matches the 3% statistic of female creative directors worldwide.

See It Be It will run from Sunday 15 June to Tuesday 17 June in Cannes. The participants have been chosen from nominations put forward by agency leaders. The women are:

Nivedita Agashe, Copywriter at Taproot Mumbai; Juliana Ardila, Art Director at Leo Burnett Dubai; Biba Cabuquit, Associate Creative Director at DM9JaymeSyfu Manila; Celeste Dalairac, Creative Director at Del Campo Saatchi Buenos Aires; Stefanie DiGianvincenzo, Associate Creative Director at Wunderman London; Jenna Livingston, Copy Director at R/GA NYC; Erica Pressly, Senior Copywriter at Barbarian Group New York; Cheyney Robinson, Creative Director at SapientNitro London; Jem Robinson, Design Director at AllofUs London; Ulrike Schumann, Creative Director at Serviceplan Zürich; Angie Sun, Creative Executive at CAA Marketing Los Angeles; and Melo Xu, Creative Director at JWT Shanghai.

After Nailing New York, ClickZ Live Heads to Toronto


So last month, ClickZ Live held their conference in New York at the New York Marriott Marquis. The three day event was packed with information online marketers need to better their performance.

Day one was kicked of with a keynote by Randi Zuckerberg who touched on the effect digital is shaping people’s lives and how marketers can and must adapt to meet these changes. She spoke about the notion of brands becoming media companies and distributing content which resonates with customers and prospects. She covered ten media trends that are changing how marketers must market such as the maker movement and the growing importance of visual media.

Breakout sessions covered topics such as 5 Ways to Improve Your Paid Media Campaigns, whether or not big data is working for marketers, 9 tips right from the mouth of Google on how marketers can improve their performance marketing, how video can increase engagement, how you can spy on your competitors to overtake them, an examination of ad copy testing which can help lead to improving engagement and much more.

We were there and captured all the action and excitement in photos.

The next ClickZ Live will take place in Toronto May 14-16 and will feature a keynote from Twitter Canada Managing Director Kirstine Stewart and four tracks of sessions including Paid, Owned/Earned, Integrated and Business Intelligence.

Check it all out here.

ADC Announces Broadcast Advertising, Interactive, Motion Awards


Last night, the Art Directors Club announced winners of its 93rd Annual Awards in the Broadcast Advertising, Interactive, Motion and cumulative and special awards categories. The awards were presented during the third night of the ADC Festival of Art + Craft in Advertising and Design at the New World Center in Miami Beach.

Cindy Gallop, former chair of Bartle Bogle Hegarty, hosted the night, where conceptual artist and festival presenter Natasha Tsakos performed, along with Miami’s own New World Symphony. The after party on the roof of the New World Center, featured the DJ Obscene and included the world premiere of Laser Cat, Hungry Castle’s giant feline-shaped installation that projects art from its eyes with lasers.

For the first time, this year featured a balanced jury of women and men. The 93rd Annual Awards juries selected the best of this year’s entries guided by Jury Chairs Judy John, CEO and Chief Creative Officer of Leo Burnett Canada (Interactive); Orion Tait, Creative Director and Principal of the production company Buck (Motion); and Margaret Johnson, Executive Creative Director and Partner at Goodby Silverstein & Partners (Advertising).

Gold Cubes awarded at the ADC 93rd Annual Awards Celebration Night Two are as follows:

Advertising: 21ADC Cubes (12 Gold, 9 Silver)

Wieden+Kennedy New York for Southern Comfort, “Whatever’s Comfortable Karate”
MJZ for Old Spice, “Momsong”
MJZ for DirecTV, “Cable Effects 4”
Forsman & Bodenfors for Volvo Trucks, “The Epic Split”
Creative Artists Agency for Chipotle Mexican Grill, “The Scarecrow”
F/Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi for Leica Store Sao Paulo, “Soul”
Hakuhodo Inc. for Inakadate Village, “rice-code”
Forsman & Bodenfors for Volvo Trucks, “Live Test Series”
Leo Burnett France for Mimi Foundation, “If Only For A Second”
Droga5 for Newcastle Brown Ale, “If We Made It”
School of Visual Arts, Gin Chen, Lauren Hom, Kirk Liu, “Brady Center Cut Short” (Student)

Interactive: 20 ADC Cubes (9 Gold, 11 Silver)

Droga5 for DE-DE, “Thunderclap”
Creative Artists Agency for Chipotle Mexican Grill, “The Scarecrow”
Forsman & Bodenfors for Volvo Trucks, “The Epic Split”
Forsman & Bodenfors for Volvo Trucks, “Live Test Series”
BBDO New York for Lowe’s, “Lowe’s Vine Fix In Six Campaign”
Forsman & Bodenfors for Volvo Trucks, “The Epic Split”
Forsman & Bodenfors for Volvo Trucks, “Live Test Series”
Party, Inc. for Universal Music LLC, “GAGADOLL”
Creative Artists Agency for Chipotle Mexican Grill, “The Scarecrow”

Motion: 6 ADC Cubes (3 Gold, 3 Silver)

Hornet for Hornet, “Marilyn Myller”
Forsman & Bodenfors for Volvo Trucks, “The Epic Split”
Lee Seoung Jun for SVA, “Dubstep Tutorial” (Student)

Special Awards: 9 ADC Cubes

Best in Show (Advertising): Forsman & Bodenfors for Volvo Trucks, “Live Test Series”
Designism: Creative Artists Agency for Chipotle Mexican Grill, “The Scarecrow”
Design Team of the Year: Dentsu, Inc. – 9 Total Awards
Advertising Agency of the Year: Forsman & Bodenfors – 15 Total Awards (5 Total Advertising Awards)
Interactive Agency of the Year: Forsman & Bodenfors – 15 Total Awards (9 Total Interactive Awards)
Client of the Year: Volvo Trucks – 15 Total Awards
Production Company of the Year: Folke Film – 15 Total Awards
Network of the Year: Leo Burnett – 12 Total Awards
School of the Year: School of Visual Arts – 7 Total Awards

The full list of winners announced at the ADC Annual Awards Celebration Night 2 can be found here.

Bob Hoffman Says Marketers Are Drowning In Their Own Bullshit


In perhaps the most entertaining talk given during Advertising Week Europe (or any conference for that matter), Bob Hoffman, legendary ad man and author of the Ad Contrarian ad blog, said marketers are bullshit artists who can’t be trusted. He claims they have been wrong about almost everything that has happened in the last ten years.

In his talk, entitled The Golden Age of Bullshit, he debunks the whole “advertising is dead” thing with these things called facts, things that seem to simply annoy and distract pundits, prognosticators and gurus regarding what’s really happening out there.

Best insight: “Every square inch of the fucking planet is covered in advertising and these schmucks are telling us it’s dead.”

But the net of his talk is very positive. Advertising is a live and well. Even TV which continues to grow despite those who said the DVR would kill it.

Another great quote: “The theory that people want to engage with brands online and share their enthusiasm with their friends and that their friends will share their enthusiasm with other friends through social media channels has turned out to be an infantile fantasy.”

With fact after fact after fact, Hoffman debunks ten years of bullshit that marketing prognosticators have barfed up and marketers have quickly ingested as if all that puke were the most delicious Kool Aid ever created.

You simply must watch this video.

6 Reasons Why SXSW Is Still Awesome


It’s now de rigueur to trash SXSW. Actually, it has been for a couple of years. And while anything that includes a session entitled The Digital Cronut should most certainly be mocked, that’s not what we’re going to do. Because it’s already been done. By everyone. In the most snarkiest of ways. That simply make the snarker look like like they are trying a little too hard to stay one hip step ahead of the curve. Before it curves again.

But…when you have a panel entitled High on Hashtags and the main takeaway, according to Search Engine Journal, is that “hashtags help discovery of trends, topics, sentiment,” it’s hard not to snark. But, we’re not going to do it.

Yes, the intimacy of pre-2010 SXSWs is gone but when you think about it, no one should be complaining about SXSW at all. If you were in attendance during the glory days of social from 2008 to 2010 and think back to what you were advising your followers and clients to do — jump on the social media bandwagon because it is awesome — you have no right to bitch about the fact they all have, indeed, jumped aboard. It is, after all, what you wanted them to do, right?

Well, now they are. And the early adopter intimacy that was once the cornerstone of SXSW is gone. But, again, that’s what you wanted, right? You wanted everyone to buy your books, to pay your consulting fees, to hire you as social media manager, to rise to Oreo Dunk-in-the-Dark stardom, right? Come on. Admit it. If they didn’t buy, SXSW would still be intimate…but you would be poor, not internet famous and still telling people MySpace is awesome. Can’t have it both ways.

So here are 6 ways SXSW is still awesome. Hopefully, you will agree.

Networking With Old Friends and New

Now, yes, festivals like Cannes Lions and trade shows like ad:tech, IAB, AAAA’s, ANA certainly serve as great networking platforms for marketers and advertisers but they are insular, exclusive and do not offer the opportunity provided by SXSW to leave your immediate circle of business and personal contacts. In other words, they don’t allow you to broaden your horizons, explore the tertiary peripheries of your particular business segment and to serendipitously hobnob with some of the smartest people on the planet from all walks of life.

Offsite Panels Broaden the Content Offering

While there are plenty — hundreds — of excellent panels that are part of the SXSW experience, in the past year or two, “pop up panels” have become quite popular. This year, Expion hosted two such panels at Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar and at one Mondelez VP Bonin Bough and Vayner Media Founder Gary Vaynerchuk squared off on the topic of the social and/or collaborative economy — a notion made popular by Altimeter Group’s Jeremiah Owyang — in a manner that can only be described as vehement agreement. Entertaining? Yes. Informative? Yes. Worth attending? Absolutely.


Another such panel hosted by ShareThis took place Saturday at the W Hotel. The event was a networking brunch combined with a panel which discussed the sharing economy. MC’d by ShareThis CEO Kurt Abrahamson, the panel included executives from Tumblr, Mashable, Adobe, NASDAQ OMX and the Mercury Fund. Summing up the three stages of the sharing economy in the publishing space, Mashable’s Mike Kriak pointed to one, mainstrem media, two, the Mashable’s of the world and three, the likes of Secret and SnapChat. Abode’s Bill Ingram touched on the lifecycle of content, beginning with creation or curation, then deployment across channels and ultimately measurement and optimization.


And then there was the CMO Club House, a five day event sponsored by the CMO Club at which Altimeter Group Analyst Rebecca Lieb led panels which included MRY CMO David Berkowitz, Brian Solis, Joshua Baer and others. Open all day at 209 6th Street, the CMO Clubhouse offered a hangout for CMOs and other marketing types where networking could be had over breakfast, lunch

Pressing the Flesh With Your Digital Friends

Thanks to social media, we’ve been able to establish intimate relationships with people online without every having physically met or only see occasionally. SXSW offers a playground to experience friends in full-on human form. I like to call Steve Garfield a friend but I only see him once a year at SXSW. He’s from my hometown of Boston and when I lived there, we never saw each other but it’s always SXSW that brings us together. Reem Abeidoh from Microsoft is another person I rarely see. We met eons ago at an early Blogworld but SXSW brings us together. These are but just a two examples of hundreds.

And then there are the first time meetups. People you’ve known through social but have never physically met. Or at least haven’t seen in years. Like Leora Israel who lives in Toronto and was at SXSW for her client BrivoLabs, a brand that partnered with Mashery which runs Circus Mashimus in the ACC where the popcorn flows and circus antics prevail.

So I’m wandering home from some party after having seen her earlier in the evening and I get this tweet from her:

Sadly, we never did get a Cronut but we did get to take a selfie of ourselves and the new friends we met while waiting in line:

And then on yet another night in an epic social media equation I like to call Steve Garfield + Leora Israel = Awesome Experience for Steve Hall:


Discovering Emerging Trends

SXSW may not be the premiere festival at which trends make their debut but there are still some exciting things that happen each year. Anonymity, most recent brought to light with the launch of the Secret app — and a very fun SXSW-focused event page, was much discussed this year. A similar app. Whisper, was in on the anonymity buzz as well. All of which is very amusing since the early, pre-social media days of the internet were all about anonymity and silly AOL chat room screen names. While silly chatroom names may have given way to well-designed icons, the approach is the same, albeit in a bit more connected fashion via social media.


Wearable technology is enjoying significant notoriety. While Google glass tends to steal the show, there are much more useful players like CrowDemand which has come up with an ingenious, built in method for women to charge their phone just by placing it in their purse. The purse has a built in charger and the purse, itself, is charged by simply laying it atop a charging base while at home. The phone is charged simply by sliding it into a dedicated pocket inside the purse. All wireless. The company is partnering with fashion label to integrate all kinds of other wearable technology we will soon see integrated into out clothing.


With the likes of Edward Snowden and Julian Assange taking top billing at SXSW this year, privacy (or the lack thereof) took center stage. As the shifting sands of privacy become ever more tenuous, Snowden said, “We need public oversight … some way for trusted public figures to advocate for us. We need a watchdog that watches Congress, because if we’re not informed, we can’t consent to these government policies.”

Large Brands (Versus Startups) Deploying Cool Technology

Since Pepsi Max built its Playground in a vacant lot in 2010 and CNN took over Max’s Wine Dive the same year, brand activation at SXSW has never been the same.

Once upon a time, long, long ago, SXSW was the place you’d visit to experience cool, new startup technology. It’s were Twitter got its start. It’s where Foursquare got its start. While there are still startups at SXSW and that remains a big reason brands attend, this year it was mostly big brands sharing tech wizardry.

The Oreo Trending Vending Lounge used 3D printing to create customized cookies based on trending topics. IBM deployed a fleet of food trucks with Watson computer tech that would auto-magically recommend ingredients for people. Pennzoil, for its first SXSW visit, offered up a real-life Mario Kart experience with a real-time, RFID-enhanced tech.


Hosted Agency/Brand Parties Fuel Your Stomach and Soul

Now, of course, this is not the reason anyone goes to SXSW but thanks to brands like Fast Company which hosted the Fast Company Grill and MRY which hosted a killer party at Haven Saturday night and Crowdtap which hosted a party at the same venue Sunday night and Rocketfuel which hosted an amazing live band experience at Clive Bar on Rainey Street featuring The Joy Formidable and Samsung and PayPal which hosted blogger lounges and JWT which hosted a cocktail party at the very cool, new Container Bar, buying food and drink at SXSW is a thing of the past. I literally did not spend a dime on food or drink during the entire five day experience.



Now free stuff is no reason to attend SXSW but that free stuff is a gateway to the first reason SXSW is still awesome; networking. It’s the lubricant that fuels one’s ability to connect with old friends and forge new relationships with people you mat do business with in the future. And despite the increased size of SXSW, it’s still as intimate as you make it.

And so to the naysayers who think SXSW has had it’s day, I respectfully beg to differ. No, every other person you see in Austin during SXSW won’t be someone you know. But isn’t that reason we go to events like this? To meet new people? make new contacts? Discover new things? Experience new ideas? And take that all home after five days and apply it to our own universe? Yea, I think it is.

Just How Many Awards Can Cannes Lions Fit Into One Week?


On a binge to see just how many awards it can pack into one week on the South of France, Cannes Lions has introduced Regional Network of the Year, replaced Media Agency of the Year with Media Network of the Year and made changes to the Palm d’Or.

The Media Agency of the Year Award will be replaced by the Media Network of the Year award. It will be awarded to the media agency network that obtains the highest score for entries in the Media Lions section. Only media agencies are eligible to compete in this award, which will be based on a points system. Advertising agencies credited on shortlisted and winning campaigns in Media Lions will see their points included in the Agency of the Year and Independent Agency of the Year calculation.

Complementing the global Network of the Year award, for the first time the performance of networks at a regional level – Regional Network of the Year award- will be announced during the final awards ceremony on Saturday, June 21, to honor the most awarded network at the festival in EMEA, Asia-Pacific, North America and LATAM.

The Palme d’Or award, presented to the best performing Production Company, will see changes introduced to bring it in-line with the other special awards. The calculation will continue to be based on a points system awarded as follows: 10 points for a Grand Prix; 7 points for a Gold Lion; 5 points for a Silver Lion; 3 points for a Bronze Lion; 1 point for a shortlist entry.

The changes being introduced are:

– Production companies no longer have to have at least 10 entries in the qualifying categories – Film, Film Craft and Branded Content & Entertainment – to be eligible for the Palme d’Or.

– The Palme d’Or will now consider all shortlisted and winning entries from a Production Company. In previous years, only the best 10 entries from each production company were considered.

– Shortlisted points will now be capped at 10 points, which is in line with the existing Agency of the Year rules.

Of the changes, Lions Festival Chairman Terry Savage said,”As is our usual process when introducing changes at Cannes Lions, we consult extensively with industry leaders to ensure that we continue to be relevant and reflect the changes that are happening in the business around the world. These adjustments to the calculations of the Special Awards are no exception, and as such we are delighted to have the support and endorsement of the key players.”

Is This Year the Last Year of the SXSW Agency Invasion?


The handwringing has begun. No sooner were we all a twitter over marketers taking over SXSW (myself included), it seems the backlash is now in full swing.

Several years ago (maybe 2010) when I saw Pepsi erect that gigantic playground and CNN take over that restaurant, I knew the quaint geek-fest days of SXSW where over and we were in for a very different SXSW. But even then, SXSW was still an orgasm of epic digital awesomeness.

Having attended SXSW long enough to know what it was before brands and agencies invaded, I see this as a bubble. And bubbles don’t last forever. Like every thing else in the ad business, every cool, new thing is chased. Every single one. Longer than any sane person would chase.

But even insane, trend-chasing ad agencies wake up one day and realize, “Oh yea, this shit isn’t making a dime for us” and they move on to the next cool thing. This will be the fourth year of the SXSW Agency Invasion and while I’m sure next year will be just as big, I’d have to agree with this mystery Digiday writer, we’re going to see a decline in attendance by agencies from this point on.

Not a complete exodus because agencies should always be present in any environment where new ideas and innovation are at the forefront of the conversation. And, SXSW is, indeed, that place.

Having said all that, it’s been a great past few years from one respect. Prior to the SXSW Agency Invasion, one had to pay for everything oneself. Now everything is sponsored. It’s entirely possible to stay in Austin for five days and never spend a dime on food or drink.

So thanks for that, Madison Avenue.

Penzoil to Give SXSW Attendees Real-Life Mario Cart Racing Experience


Last year, JWT launched a pop up ad agency at SXSW called Walter. It’s aim was to meet with 25 startups with the goal of working with a few of them. This year, JWT Atlanta will launch an experiential marketing effort called Penzoil Presents Mario Karting Reimagined which aims to pimp Mario 8. All SXSW Gaming and Interactive attendees will be able to race their friends on a custom-built track.

Set outside the Palmer Events Center, the custom-built track with a Mario Kart-world feel will be open and free to SXSW Interactive & Gaming attendees. The live racing will use RFID technology to communicate between the track and the karts to provide the driver and the audience with an interactive, real-life Mario Kart experience.

The races will be simulcast from the driver’s point-of-view to screens throughout the activation and the Austin Convention Center. The kart’s performance is controlled by RFID technology as drivers interact with icons on the course. These real-life power-ups will either boost speed or slow the kart down in real-time. The goal is to collect all five icons in order to receive complete protection.

It’s all to promote Penzoil’s Platinum oil, a first of its kind synthetic oil made from natural gas.

The track will be open Friday, March 7th, 12PM – 6PM, Saturday, March 8th, 12PM – 6P and Sunday, March 9th, 12PM – 6PM

Pennzoil to Give SXSW Attendees Real-Life Mario Cart Racing Experience


Last year, JWT launched a pop up ad agency at SXSW called Walter. It’s aim was to meet with 25 startups with the goal of working with a few of them. This year, JWT Atlanta will launch an experiential marketing effort called Pennzoil Presents Mario Karting Reimagined which aims to pimp Mario 8. All SXSW Gaming and Interactive attendees will be able to race their friends on a custom-built track.

Set outside the Palmer Events Center, the custom-built track with a Mario Kart-world feel will be open and free to SXSW Interactive & Gaming attendees. The live racing will use RFID technology to communicate between the track and the karts to provide the driver and the audience with an interactive, real-life Mario Kart experience.

The races will be simulcast from the driver’s point-of-view to screens throughout the activation and the Austin Convention Center. The kart’s performance is controlled by RFID technology as drivers interact with icons on the course. These real-life power-ups will either boost speed or slow the kart down in real-time. The goal is to collect all five icons in order to receive complete protection.

It’s all to promote Pennzoil’s Platinum oil, a first of its kind synthetic oil made from natural gas.

The track will be open Friday, March 7th, 12PM – 6PM, Saturday, March 8th, 12PM – 6P and Sunday, March 9th, 12PM – 6PM

Here’s One Excuse to Go to Cannes Early This Year


If you didn’t have reason to be in Cannes longer than a week, perhaps now you do. Well, as long as you’re active in the health space. The first ever Lions Health will take place in the Palais des Festivals, Cannes, France, 13-14 June 2014 and will welcome to the stage a speaker line-up that will include some of the most awarded creatives in healthcare and top marketers from around the world.

“Seminars at Lions Health are designed to explore how creativity can help transform the sector”, says Louise Benson, Lions Health Festival Director. “Thought leaders and industry experts will take to the stage to showcase great ideas that push boundaries, deliver fresh insight and thinking, and lead the debates that drive communications in the industry forward.”

Additional speakers who will share their expertise with the audience include:

Jim Stengel, Former Chief Marketing Officer of Proctor & Gamble and author of Grow, and Digitas Health creative chief Alexandra von Plato, discuss how a new generation of creative leaders will transform healthcare marketing as we know it at their session ‘Building an Inspired Organisation Now – PHCG’.

Rich Levy, Chief Creative Officer, Draftfcb Healthcare; Jill Weingarten, VP Senior Recruiter of Greenberg Kirshenbaum; and Megan Miller, graduate of S.I. Newhouse School of Communication will reveal why it’s more alluring than ever for the brightest talent to apply their skills to improving global health.

Lakish Hatalkar, Novartis OTC New Growth Opportunities Franchise, General Manager and Jeremy Cohen, Edeleman’s Europe & CIS Chair for Business and Social Purpose, will explore using creativity to build a responsible brand by applying science, innovation, communications and creativity expertise to society’s biggest health challenges.

Chris Duffey, SVP and Group Creative Director of Sudler & Hennessy, with guests including Google’s Katie Erbs, Head of Rich Media, Northern and Central Europe, will discuss the complexities of marketing health messages through mobile due to the sheer scale of devises being used by physicians, patients and consumers in the ever shifting landscape of technology. They will demonstrate how clear, creative ideas can cut through the confusion and deliver engaging mobile experiences that improve healthcare outcomes.

The first Lions Health Festival, offering two-days of content, inspiring screenings and exhibitions of all the latest healthcare marketing communications from around the world, as well as networking opportunities, will culminate in the first Lions Health trophies being presented to the winners at a dedicated awards ceremony taking place in the Palais des Festivals in Cannes on Saturday 14 June.

Need A Place to Stay During Cannes Lions?


Cannes Lions is closer than you think. Many of us will be basking in the sun in Cannes, France come June but do you have all your plans in place? Do you know where you will be staying?

If not, we can help. We’ve partnered with Cannes Apartment Rentals which has many apartments in the area from studios to four bedroom residences.

Here are three of their swankier offerings:

La Parisienne Cannes
Villa Leona
Square Merimee Superior

You can check out all their rentals here.

Going to ad:tech San Francisco? Here’s Your 20% Discount Code


If you work in online marketing then you’re probably aware ad:tech is pretty much the largest conference out there covering online marketing and advertising technology. Perhaps you’ve been. Perhaps you haven’t. If you have, then you know how beneficial it can be both from a networking and educational perspective. If you haven’t been, see the previous sentence. The bottom line is you should go.

We’re not saying this because this promotion is part of media sponsor deal we have with ad:tech (to be clear, it is), rather it is because we have been to every ad:tech for the past ten years and can personally vouch for the benefits you will realize if you choose to attend. To make that decision a bit easier, we can offer you 20% off the registration fee if you use the discount code: ADR20sf14 or just click here.

Going to Cannes? Need A Swanky Venue? Check Out Villa Oxygen


So it’s February. It may seem like June is a long way off but it will be here before you know it. What’s special about June? Cannes Lions, of course! Are you ready? Flight booked? Accommodations all set? Event planned? Event location secured?

Wait, what? You don’t know where you’re going to host your entourage and your events? What, are you new? OK, sorry, We don’t mean to be mean. We’re actually here to help.

AES Events Groups manages a place called Villa Oxygen which is just off La Croisette. It’s got 6 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, a kitchen, giant TVs, ocean views, jacuzzis, a garden house, a pool, wireless, an elegant terrace, a bar and everything else you’d need for a week of luxury in Cannes.

Yes, we are helping promote the place. Why? Because the venue’s management is giving us a free place (studio or one bedroom) to stay during Cannes Lions. But guess what. We can’t go this year so…we’re going to give that away to one lucky reader. Stay tuned for more details on that.

But in the meantime, if you need a nice place for a week for you, your friend, your company or your clients, check out Villa Oxygen.